Jobless level in state edges down to 4.5%

Arkansas’ jobless rate improved in February, dropping to 4.5%, closer to the state’s pre-pandemic levels. The U.S. unemployment rate also fell to 6.2%. Arkansas’ labor force also dropped, by 12,775, raising concerns for the state’s economic development officials for filling open jobs. Michael Pakko, chief economist with the Arkansas Economic Development Institute, said Friday’s report […]

Gas prices make upward trek

Gas prices were low for most of the pandemic but are now increasing due to increased demand. Last April, the national average price for gas fell below $2 for the first time in four years due to decreased demand. “Demand could really start rising and put upward pressure on prices,” Pakko said. Read the full […]

AEDI Creates New COVID-19 Initiative to Track Virus’s Social and Economic Impact on Arkansas

The Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) has launched an interactive COVID-19 data dashboard that tracks the social and economic impact of COVID-19 on Arkansas. The dashboard provides a variety of socioeconomic data, such as employment and mental health, for the state, its communities, and surrounding states.  “We are excited and proud to offer this unique […]

Arkansas Unemployment: Metro vs. Rural Areas

All but two of Arkansas’ metro areas saw increases in unemployment for the month of August. In that same time, unemployment declined in the majority of the state’s counties. The “unemployment statistics seem to suggest that non-metro parts of the state showed relative improvement in August,” Dr. Michael Pakko reported on his blog, To read […]